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Discourse Analysis & Language Teaching - EDU00007M

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Jan Hardman
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module is suitable for students with advanced language skills. It requires students to engage in a critical analysis of a variety of spoken and written texts.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

This module provides a knowledge and understanding of language use in context and develops student discourse analytic competence with a focus on lexical, grammatical and organisational properties of discourse. Implications of discourse analysis for communication, culture, and language teaching are discussed.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete the module will develop an understanding of:

  • the concept of discourse and discourse properties
  • how cultural, situational and textual contexts influence discourse construction and decoding
  • cohesion and coherence
  • different modes and types of discourse
  • how language is used by teachers and pupils in the classroom
  • discourse-based approaches to language teaching
  • discourse analysis as a tool for research.

Academic and graduate skills

  • Formulate arguments and contribute to discussion
  • Develop academic writing skills
  • Participate in individual and group work, presentations, and peer-teaching activities
  • Demonstrate effective planning and time management
  • Word-process, manage files, use-email, VLE and the Web
  • Undertake empirical and literature research

Module content

Module outline

The module consists of eleven sessions. Teaching and learning activities will include presentations by the tutor, small group discussions and practical activities (individual and group).

Introduction to the module

Text, context, spoken and written discourse

Classroom discourse: student collaborative interaction

Classroom discourse: teacher-student interaction

Classroom discourse: academically-productive talk

Written discourse: cohesion and coherence

Written discourse: cross-cultural rhetorical patterns

Written discourse: meta-language

Discourse types/genres/registers

Consolidating tasks

Preparing for the summative assessment


Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Essay/coursework: 3500 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The summative assessment for this module is a 3,500 word essay.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Essay/coursework: 3500 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessments. The feedback is returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

Indicative reading

Essential Reading

  • Alexander, R. (2018). Developing dialogic teaching: genesis, process, trial, Research Papers in Education, 33:5, 561-598.
  • Celce-Murcia, M and Olshtain, E. (2000) Discourse and Context in Language Teaching: A guide for teachers, Cambridge University Press
  • Carter, R., Goddard, A. Reah, D. Sanger, K & Bowring, M (1997) Working with Texts: a core book for language analysis
  • Connor, U. (1996) Contrastive Rhetoric. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Coulthard, M. (1994) Advances in Written Text Analysis, Routledge
  • Coulthard, M (1992) Advances in Spoken Discourse Analysis, Routledge
  • Halliday, M . & Hasan, R. (1976) Cohesion in English, Arnold.
  • Hyland, K & Tse, P (2004) Metadiscourse in Academic Writing: A Reappraisal. Applied Linguistics, Vol 25/2: 156-177
  • Hardman, J. (2019). Developing and supporting implementation of a dialogic pedagogy in primary schools in England. Teaching and Teacher Education, 86, 1-14.
  • Hoey, M. (1983) On the Surface of Discourse, George Allen and Unwin
  • Hoey, M. (1991) Patterns of lexis in the text. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • McCarthy, M. (1991) Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Van Kopple, W. (1991) Themes, thematic progressions, and some implication for understanding discourse. Written Communication, 8, 311-347

Wider Reading

  • Biber, D. (1995) Dimension of register variation. New York: Cambridge University Press
  • Carter, R. and McRae, J. (eds.) (1996) Literature, Language and the Learner: creative classroom practice
  • Carter, R (1997) Investigating English Discourse: Language, Literacy, Literature
  • Cook, G (1997) Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Cameron, D. (2001) Working with Spoken Discourse, Sage
  • Hardman, F. (2011) Promoting a dialogic pedagogy in English teaching in Davison, J., Daly, C. & Moss, J. (eds.) Debates in English Teaching. London: Routledge, pp. 36-47
  • Bloom, B.S. (1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Addison Wesley
  • Connor, U. & Johns, A. (Eds.) (1990) Coherence in writing. Arlington, VA: TESOL
  • Cazden, C. and Beck. S. (2003) ‘Classroom Discourse’, 165-197 in Graesser, A., Gernsbacher, M.A., and Goldman, S.R. (Eds) Handbook of Discourse Processes. New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
  • Lazaraton, A. (2002) ‘Qualitative and qualitative approaches to discourse analysis’ in Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol 22, 32-51
  • Hatch, E. (1992) Discourse and Language Education. New York: Cambridge University Press
  • Halliday, M. & Hasan, R. (1989) Spoken and Written Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Hellinger, M. & Ammon, U (1996) Contrastive sociolinguistics. The Hague: Mouton
  • Hardman, F (2008) Opening-up classroom discourse: the importance of teacher feedback. In Mercer, N. & Hodgkinson, S. (eds.) Exploring Talk in Schools. London: Sage, 131-150
  • Abd-Kadir, J & Hardman, F. (2007) The discourse of whole-class teaching: a comparative study of Kenyan and Nigerian primary English lessons. Language and Education 21, 1, 1-15 Wajnryb, R. (2003) Stories: Narrative Activities for the Language Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Hinkel, E. (2002) Second language Writer’s Text: Linguistic and Rhetorical Features, Erlbaum
  • Hinkel, E. (Ed.) Handbook of Research in Second Language Writing. Mahwah, New Jersey: Erlbaum
  • Fraser, B (1999) What are discourse markers? Journal of Pragmatics, Vol 31: 931-952
  • Hoey, M. (2001) Textual Interaction: an introduction to written discourse analysis. London: Routledge
  • McCarthy, M. (2001) Issues in Applied Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • McCarthy, M. & Carter, R (1994) Language as discourse: perspectives for language teachers. London: Longman
  • McCarthy, M. & Carter, R. (2000) ‘Designing the discourse syllabus’. Hall, D. & Hewings, A. (eds.) Innovation in English Language Teaching: A Reader. USA: Routledge
  • McCormick, D.E. and Donato, R. (2000) ‘Teacher questions as scaffolded assistance in an ESL classroom’ in Hall, J.K. and Verplaetse, L.S. (Eds) Second and Foreign language learning through classroom interaction, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
  • Mercer, N, & Hodgkinson, S. (2008) Exploring talks in school. London: Sage
  • Nassaji, H. & Wells, G. (2000). What’s the use of ‘triadic dialogue’?: an Investigation of student-teacher interaction. Applied Linguistics, 21/3,376-406
  • Panetta, C. (2001) Contrastive Rhetoric Revisited and Redefined. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Schriffrin, D., Tannen, D, Hamilton, H.E. (2003) Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Blackwell
  • Widdowson, H (2007) Discourse Analysis, OUP
  • Kaplan, R.B. & Grabe, W. (2002) A modern history of written discourse analysis. Journal of Second Language Writing, 11, 191-223
  • Grabe, W. & Kaplan, R. B. (1996) Theory & Practice of Writing. London: Longman
  • Tannen, D. (1989) Talking Voices. New York: Cambridge University Press
  • Thornbury, S. (2005) Beyond the Sentence: An Introduction to Discourse Analysis, Oxford: MacMillan
  • Kaplan, R.B. (1966) Cultural thought patterns in intercultural education. Language learning, 16, 1-20
  • Kaplan, R. B (2000) Contrastive rhetoric and discourse analysis: Who writes what to whom? When? In what circumstances? In S. Sarangi & M. Coulthard (Eds.) Discourse and Social Life, pp 82-101. London: Pearson Education
  • Kaplan, R.B ( ) Contrastive Rhetoric. In E. Hinkel (Ed.) Handbook of Research in Second Language Writing. Mahwah, New Jersey: Erlbaum
  • Candlin, C. & Hyland, K. (Eds.) (1999) Writing: Text, processes and practices. London: Longman
  • Swales, J. (2000) Languages for Specific Purposes. In W. Grabe, et. Al. (Eds.) Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 20 Applied Linguistics as an emerging discipline, (pp. 59-76). New York: Cambridge University Press
  • Bhatia, V. K. (2005) Worlds of Written Discourse. London: Continuum
  • Biber, D. (1995) Dimension of register variation. New York: Cambridge University Press
  • Conrad, S. & Biber, D. (Eds.) (2001) Variation in English: Multi-dimensional studies. London: Longman
  • Yule, G. (1996) Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP
  • Wells, G. (1999) Dialogic Inquiry: Towards a Sociocultural Practice and Theory of Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.